A lot of what I write about is influenced by Francis Schaeffer – especially his discussion of two-storied thinking. Matthew Hall brings up a great example of such thinking as it pertains to the way detractors of Intelligent Design make their case.
He quotes Time magazine’s Charles Krauthammer:
To teach faith as science is to undermine the very idea of science, which is the acquisition of new knowledge through hypothesis, experimentation and evidence. To teach it as science is to encourage the supercilious caricature of America as a nation in the thrall of religious authority. To teach it as science is to discredit the welcome recent advances in permitting the public expression of religion. Faith can and should be proclaimed from every mountaintop and city square. But it has no place in science class. To impose it on the teaching of evolution is not just to invite ridicule but to earn it.
Did you catch the duality inherent to his position?
Krauthammer is operating from a fractured view of truth – what Schaeffer (and later Nancy Pearcy) describe as a two-storied view of truth. The lower story of the house is the realm of science and objective fact and truth, with the upper story housing the realm of subjective personal values and preferences (including faith and religion).
Such upper-story “values” are all fine and can be a nice emotional boost but aren’t really tied to universal truths about reality and they certainly have no business operating in the lower story. They are “true for you” but not really true in an objective, universal sense. Such a perspective pervades the discussion of ID and Darwinism (not on the part of the ID guys).
The debate surrounding Darwin has as much to do with philosophy and worldview than with science. Maybe more.
Darwin enabled philosophical naturalists (those who believe the universe is a closed system – that nothing exists outside or apart from it) to provide a narrative for their belief, a story and explanation of origins that did not rely on anything transcendent. Emboldened, they then rewrote the rules of science.
Naturalists have successfully changed the rules of science to methodological naturalism.
In other words, when doing “pure science,” one cannot look beyond the physical/material realm for answers or explanation. So one MUST, according to such a view, adopt the two-storied view of truth in order to be “scientific.”
So Intelligent Design is received with a knee-jerk reaction that tries to kick it upstairs – to the realm of subjective values and religious preferences, where it cannot interfere with “science.” It is a non-starter.
The same bifurcation of truth exists, incidentally, when people talk about Supreme Court judges and politicians who shouldn’t let their personal beliefs or religion influence their judicial decisions. Most talk of “values” reinforces this dichotomy – even Christians who use that terminology rather than “truth.”